New measures to accelerate clean energy, create jobs, and cut costs
Today, President Biden will reiterate that climate change is a clear and present danger to the United States. Since Congress takes no action on this emergency, President Biden will. In the coming weeks, President Biden will announce additional executive measures to combat this emergency.
Today, President Biden is announcing the latest set of executive measures to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, by creating well-paying clean energy jobs and cutting costs for families. His actions will protect communities from the climate impacts that are already here, including extreme heat conditions affecting more than 100 million Americans this week, and expanding offshore wind business opportunities and opportunities in the United States.
The president will make announcements at a former coal-fired power plant in Brighton Point, Massachusetts that will host a cable-manufacturing facility to support the burgeoning offshore wind industry — and which exemplify how the president’s leadership is accelerating the nation’s transition away from environmental pollution, injustice, and volatile past price swings toward well-paying jobs and security. energy in the future.
President Biden’s new executive actions will:
- Protecting communities from extreme heat and dangerous climatic effects: FEMA announces $2.3 billion in funding for its Fiscal Year 2022 Building Infrastructure and Resilient Communities (BRIC) program — the largest investment in BRIC history, backed by the bipartisan President’s Infrastructure Act. This funding will help communities increase their resilience to heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other hazards by preparing before disaster strikes. BRIC is among hundreds of federal programs the Biden-Harris administration is turning over to support the Justice40 initiative and prioritize providing benefits to disadvantaged communities.
- Lower cooling costs for communities experiencing extreme heat: Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is issuing guidance that expands for the first time how the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can boost the delivery of efficient air conditioning equipment, community cooling centers, and more. In April, the Biden-Harris administration released $385 million through LIHEAP to help families with household energy costs, including summer cooling — part of a record $8 billion the administration provided, backed by the President’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act.
- Expanding Offshore Wind Opportunities and Jobs: The Department of the Interior is proposing the first wind power zones in the Gulf of Mexico, a historic step toward expanding offshore wind opportunities to another region of the United States. These areas cover 700,000 acres and have the capacity to power more than three million homes. President Biden is also directing the Secretary of the Interior to advance wind energy development in the waters off the central and southern Atlantic coast and Florida’s Gulf coast — alleviating the uncertainty raised by the previous administration. These actions come on the heels of the president’s launch of the new Federal Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Implementation that brought governors together to deliver cleaner, more affordable energy and new jobs.
Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads are washed away, electricity is cut off, wildfires destroy their homes, or schools are inundated. In the past year alone, the United States faced 20 extreme weather and climate disasters with losses of more than $1 billion each — a cumulative price of more than $145 billion. People of color and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately vulnerable to the climate crisis and are likely to experience negative health and environmental impacts from climate events and extreme weather events. Furthermore, the country’s vital infrastructure is under threat from climate and severe weather.
President Biden will not back down from addressing this emergency. Since taking office, he has mobilized his entire administration to tackle the climate crisis and secure historic investments in clean energy and climate resilience in a bipartisan infrastructure law. And he will continue to take bold action to secure a safe, healthy, and clean energy future — all while saving money for families, providing clean air and water, promoting environmental justice, and strengthening American industrialization and competitiveness.
Protecting communities from extreme heat
This summer, millions of Americans face the challenges and dangers that come with extreme heat alerts and record temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The climate crisis is making heat waves more intense and frequent, negatively affecting health across the country — sending tens of thousands of Americans to the emergency room, increasing the risk of heart and respiratory problems, and particularly endangering our workers, children, the elderly, and historically disadvantaged communities. Overburdened and people with underlying health conditions.
To respond, the Biden-Harris administration last year launched a wide range of new initiatives to enhance workplace safety, build local resilience, and address the disproportionate effects of extreme heat. Today, management is announcing additional steps and progress on:
- Providing Standard Funding to Increase Community Resilience: Last year, President Biden doubled the funding available through FEMA’s Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. This year, it’s doubling it again, to a historic level of $2.3 billion available to states, communities, tribes and territories to proactively reduce their exposure to heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other risks bolstered by the bipartisan President’s Infrastructure Act. As part of President’s Justice40 Initiative, which has set a goal of providing 40% of the total benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy to underserved communities, FEMA is prioritizing communities that have long been marginalized, overburdened, and underserved.
- Expand access to home air conditioners and community cooling centers: In April, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released $385 million through LIHEAP to Helping families with household energy costs, including cooling in the summer — is part of a record $8 billion the administration provided, backed by a bipartisan infrastructure law, to reduce cooling and heating costs for low-income Americans. Today, HHS is issuing guidance that will help states, tribes and territories expand how they respond to extreme heat and support vulnerable communities through LIHEAP. The guidelines provide a range of flexible options including increasing funding to help with cooling through the US bailout; establishment of community cooling centers; and the purchase, distribution or loan of efficient air-conditioning equipment, evaporative coolers and electric heat pumps – a more energy-efficient alternative to providing cooling services – to families and individuals at risk. HHS has also developed the LIHEAP and Extreme Heat website to provide online resources including a Heat Stress Geographic Information Dashboard (GIS) to help give beneficiaries and stakeholders track, visualize, and respond to heat stress trends and needs across the country.
- Enforcement of safety in the workplace: Heat is a growing threat to safety in the workplace, especially in high-risk sectors such as agriculture and construction. In April, Vice President Harris and Secretary of Labor Walsh launched the first-ever national assurance program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injury. Since then, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has become already done 564 heat-related inspections, which focus on more than 70 high-risk industries in 43 states. On days when the heat index is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance professionals engage in proactive awareness and technical assistance to help stakeholders keep workers safe on the job.
Through the Interagency Working Group on Extreme Heat under the National Climate Action Team, the administration is offering a wide range of additional efforts, including the historic OSHA rule-making process toward the first federal heat standard to protect workers, and EPA support for community outreach strategies to help people keep On Your Safety on Hot Days, DHS Cooling Solutions Challenge to fund innovative responses to extreme heat, NOAA’s community-led campaign to map urban heat islands, USDA Urban and Community Forestry Program to Fairly Improve Thermal Resilience, and HHS Climate and Health Outlook to inform health professionals of extreme heat and other climate-related health risks.
Promote offshore wind industry and create jobs
Since President Biden set a bold goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, the administration has approved the first large-scale projects and new wind energy areas, held record wind auctions, and issued an action plan to accelerate permit issuance. The private sector is following suit with investments to expand the US-made wind power supply chain. In 2021 alone, investors announced $2.2 billion in new supply chain financing, including commitments to develop nine major manufacturing facilities to produce foundations, towers, cables and offshore wind turbine blades. Historic project work agreements help grow a diverse union workforce, create well-paying jobs, and support training programs.
To expand these opportunities further, President Biden today is:
- Offshore wind potential in the Gulf of Mexico: Today, the Department of the Interior is announcing the Wind Energy Zones Project and an accompanying draft Environmental Assessment to consider potential offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration will seek public input on two potential wind energy areas – one off the coast of Galveston, Texas and one off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The review area covers more than 700,000 acres, with the potential to supply more than three million homes with clean energy. As with previous proposals, the Department is committed to working in partnership with stakeholders to advance offshore wind development while protecting biodiversity and promoting the shared use of the oceans.
- Strengthening offshore wind opportunities in the Southeast: The previous administration raised uncertainty about the future of offshore wind and other clean energy development off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Today, President Biden is directing the Secretary of the Interior to advance clean energy development in these federal waters — to ensure that these southeastern states will be able to take advantage of well-paying jobs in the burgeoning offshore wind industry.
These actions come on the heels of the president’s announcement last month of a new federal statewide offshore wind implementation partnership, joining with governors to ensure federal and state officials work together to build a US-based supply chain, including manufacturing and shipbuilding, for a growing offshore wind industry. .